What should the humidity be in a house? Humidity is something that you need to be able to pay close attention to. Everyone wants their home to be as comfortable as it can possibly be. Often times, how comfortable your home is going to feel will be determined by whether it is too humid or not humid enough. Both low humidity and high humidity are undesirable and can create problems for you.
People have trouble maintaining the proper humidity levels in their home from time to time. Depending on the environment where you live, it can be difficult to keep things at a level that is comfortable for you and your family. Luckily, there are steps that you can take to make changes to your home to make the humidity levels more pleasant.
Even knowing this, some people will wonder what the ideal humidity levels should be in a home. The truth is that this is not a question that is easily answered. What is comfortable for one person may be uncomfortable for another person. The ideal range is going to vary depending on what you like personally, but there are some general rules that you can use to help guide your choices.
What Should The Humidity Be In A House?
Ideal Relative Indoor Humidity Levels
There are ideal relative humidity levels that have been surmised by experts over the years. These levels are used in comparison to the relative temperature outside. If you use these numbers as a general guide, then it can make maintaining comfortable humidity levels in your home a bit simpler. Keep in mind that your results will vary.
|Ideal Indoor Humidity Percentage
|50 degrees Fahrenheit or over
|Humidity levels 50% or less
|20-49 degrees Fahrenheit
|Humidity levels 40% or less
|10-19 degrees Fahrenheit
|Humidity levels 35% or less
|0-9 degrees Fahrenheit
|Humidity levels 30% or less
|-10 to -1 degree Fahrenheit
|Humidity levels 25% or less
|-20 to -11 degrees Fahrenheit
|Humidity levels 20% or less
|Below -20 degrees Fahrenheit
|Humidity levels 15% or less
As you can see when looking at the table above, the ideal humidity levels will vary wildly depending on the outdoor temperature. You should use this as a general guide when trying to add humidity to your home or when trying to remove humidity from the home. Some people are more comfortable with things a bit on the humid side, so what you will prefer is going to vary due to your personal preferences.
For an average environment, maintaining a humidity level of 45% will feel fairly comfortable to many people throughout the year. Some will like to have things a bit more humid than this and will feel that 45% leaves things a bit dry. Listen to your body, and just try to keep things as comfortable as possible for you and your family. You will be able to alter your home environment properly to achieve an ideal humidity level that works for you.
The Dangers of Low Humidity
Low humidity is something that can have a really negative impact on your home. In some ways, low humidity is going to be worse than high humidity. This type of humidity problem is going to leave your home feeling very dry. You will have trouble breathing in this type of air, and it can lead to certain health problems if left unchecked.
People who live in houses that have very low humidity levels will be at an increased risk of catching a cold. Generally speaking, the human body doesn’t respond well to these types of environments, and getting sick is a natural response. These dry air problems will cause you to have chapped lips, and you might even notice that you will have a difficult time breathing.
Those who suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions will not benefit from being in a low humidity environment. It will exasperate their symptoms and make it so that they feel worse than usual. Breathing in this dry air is not easy, and it feels harsh on the lungs. Combine this with the fact that it can make people get sick more quickly, and it is easy to see why this isn’t desirable.
You will also notice many other physical changes when exposed to a low humidity environment over long periods of time. The dry air can negatively affect your skin condition and even cause nosebleeds for some people. Your house doesn’t like the dry air either, and it will have an impact on your home if you don’t take care of things.
Low humidity can hurt your home by making wood and other materials too dry. This can wind up leading to cracks and damage to your trim. Sometimes flooring will be harmed by really low humidity, and this can be costly to repair. It is in your best interest to avoid a low humidity environment for the sake of your own health and for the well-being of your home.
Methods to Fix Low Humidity
The most common way that people fix their low humidity environments is by adding in a powerful humidifier. There are humidifier units that will work to humidify your entire household. If you are experiencing a big problem with your humidity levels, then this is a good step to take to fix the problem. If your humidity issues are centered around one specific area of your home, then you may wish to buy a smaller unit to put in a certain room.
Just make sure that you buy a humidifier that is powerful enough to do the job. These humidifiers should be rated by how many square feet they are capable of covering. A whole house humidifier should work nicely for most homes, but you will still want to ensure that it is big enough for your environment. You can also look into some natural ways to promote greater humidity in your home.
Methods such as keeping houseplants leaving the door open while you shower can help to add a bit of moisture to the environment. These methods won’t likely replace the usefulness of a humidifier, but they can be helpful things to consider. Raising your humidity levels up to something that is closer to ideal shouldn’t be too tough. You will feel a lot more comfortable in your home once things are not so dry.
The Dangers of High Humidity
You should also know that high humidity levels carry many dangers, as well. If your home is way too humid, then it is going to cause you many problems. You will need to address your humidity problems so that you can avoid costly situations that could put you in a bind. The dangers of high humidity can negatively affect your health in some situations and will also have an impact on your home.
One of the most apparent problems that people encounter with high humidity is mold. Mold is something that can really damage your home, and it isn’t always easy to deal with. If you have mold in your home then it can wind up making you sick. Even if you aren’t worried about the health ramifications, mold will have the potential to ruin portions of your home.
Depending on the type of walls that you have and other factors, mold can cause parts of your home to rot. This can weaken the integrity of the house and will wind up making things dangerous for you. If you ever encounter mold in your home, then it is imperative that you get it taken care of as soon as possible. If you let it stay around, then it will wind up making you sick and can really hurt the overall air quality of your property.
As far as health concerns go, asthmatic individuals will suffer greatly in environments that are too humid. People with respiratory conditions have trouble with both low humidity and high humidity, so you need to find a middle ground. Those with allergy problems may also suffer worse in very humid environments. It is something that has the potential to make things very uncomfortable for you.
The worst part of the increased humidity is typically how it makes you feel. A very humid environment can make you feel too hot, and you may be sluggish. Many people use more air conditioning to compensate for this humidity problem. Doing so will lead to increased energy bills at the end of the month, so it will wind up negatively impacting your bank account.
Methods to Fix High Humidity
Fixing your high humidity problem will be simple if you have the right tools available. You will need to purchase a dehumidifier to take much of the moisture out of the air. Most dehumidifiers will be able to change the humidity in a room quite swiftly. This can make things more comfortable for you and will allow you to avoid many of the negative problems associated with high humidity.
There are a few different types of dehumidifiers on the market for you to consider. Some of them will be useful in single rooms, and others will work well to dehumidify large areas. Which one you need will depend on how bad your humidity problem is. It should be noted that you don’t want to use your dehumidifier too much, as it can dry out the air and give you a different set of problems.
Another method that people like to use is installing some type of exhaust fans. These are particularly useful in wet rooms that have naturally high humidity levels. An exhaust fan in your bathroom can help to lower humidity levels significantly. It may be a little bit costly to install exhaust fans throughout your home, though.
There are not as many natural ways to reduce humidity in your home as there are ways to bring the humidity levels up. You can try to be mindful about taking shorter showers to keep from adding more moisture to the air. Even so, you are likely going to need to buy a dehumidifier. It is the most practical way to fix your problem, and it won’t cost you too much money to get everything that you need.
Also, if you have problems with mold due to your high humidity, you will want to consider calling in professionals. Getting rid of mold isn’t always easy, and it can be unsafe for you to handle it yourself. Professionals will have the necessary equipment and the expertise to take care of your mold issues. Fixing the humidity levels can prevent it from happening again, but you will need to ensure that the mold is out of your home so that you can truly move on.
Finding the Right Balance
Finding the right balance may wind up taking you some time. You can do your best to measure the humidity levels in your home to get an idea of what your humidity levels are. Finding the level that is going to be comfortable for you and safe for your home is not impossible. If you are having issues right now, then you should know that things can be fixed. You can add some humidifiers or dehumidifiers into your home to help get things where they need to be.
Most of these problems will be able to be resolved by using a humidifier or a dehumidifier. You can try to promote naturally ideal humidity levels through your actions too. No matter what you do, the type of environment that you live in is going to determine what type of humidity you have to deal with. All you can really do is be prepared to deal with things as necessary.
Your family will be able to avoid the consequences of low humidity and high humidity with a bit of effort. Once your home feels more comfortable, it is going to be a lot easier to just enjoy yourself. Ideal humidity levels will help you to stay healthy, and you’ll feel much more at ease. Take the time to figure out your situation, and you will be glad that you started looking into these necessary changes.